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Re: Mathematica and some General Comments

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  • Subject: [mg97205] Re: Mathematica and some General Comments
  • From: Helen Read <hpr at>
  • Date: Sun, 8 Mar 2009 05:50:12 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <goqphr$lt2$>
  • Reply-to: HPR <read at>

David Park wrote:
> I was mildly disappointed that some fixes did not appear in Mathematica
>  Some of these appear to be platform dependent but they were
> verified on MathGroup by other users besides myself.
> 1) In Input cells the vertical bar or Mathematica Alternatives symbol does
> not display properly. It only shows a short truncated stub. It does display
> properly in Output cells and it does perform properly. This seems to occur
> only with certain font sizes and magnifications. 
> a|b 
> 2) There is still a problem with the various types of Density plots in that
> part of the plot Frame is cut off. 
> DensityPlot[Sin[x y], {x, 0, 3}, {y, 0, 3}]
> 3) In many situations Copy and Paste do not work properly from the context
> menu. I consider this a major problem. I was warned that this fix would not
> appear in, but I would  have preferred that the update be delayed
> until it could be fixed. 

I personally am greatly relieved they did not wait any longer. In fact, 
I would have liked an update far sooner than this. The printing bug was 
a huge pain. Students would end up having to print their work two or 
three or four times before finally getting the pages to break correctly. 
Aside from the aggravation, it was a big waste of time and paper. So far 
it seems to be working correctly in 7.0.1.

The other bug I'm very glad to have fixed is the problem of the keyboard 
shortcuts (Alt-7 to for a Text cell, etc.) becoming disabled any time 
you do a right-click (for example to copy/paste). I tried to avoid 
opening up any context menus, but of course I'd sometimes forget, then 
the shortcuts didn't work until I clicked off the notebook and back 
again. It was incredibly annoying. I am *much* happier now that this is 

> It is a bit more than a minor chore to do an update of Mathematica.

Perhaps, but it's worth it to me to have what I consider the worst bugs 
fixed. And the 7.0.1 installation is pretty easy if you already have 
7.0.0 installed. If you accept all the default options, it goes ahead 
and uninstalls 7.0.0, sucks up your mathpass and init.m files, and 
installs 7.0.1. Even in a lab setting with multiple computers, it's 
pretty easy. A colleague and I maintain the computers in two math 
classrooms (62 computers total), and we will install 7.0.1 over our 
spring break next week, without having to re-image the machines. We 
tried out a "silent install" yesterday on a couple of test machines, and 
it worked beautifully. We made up a little command file that connects a 
computer to a network share where we have the Mathematica installation 
files, and tells the computer to install Mathematica without anyone 
having to answer questions or click Next. All we have to do is send the 
..cmd file out to all the client computers and execute it, all of which 
we can do remotely.

Helen Read
University of Vermont

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